1st Edition

Media and Masculinities in Contemporary Russia Constructing Non-heteronormativity

By Olga Andreevskikh Copyright 2024
    198 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Based on extensive original research, this book examines the extent to which media in Russia upholds the Russian government’s stance on sexuality. It considers the Russian government’s policies designed to uphold ‘traditional sexuality’, reveals the strategies of resistance used by Russian media outlets to create positive portrayals of non-heteronormative people and circumvent the restrictive 2013 legislation banning positive representations of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’, and highlights particular examples of subversive media practices. Overall, the book challenges the prevailing view that media in authoritarian regimes are completely compliant with their government’s position.

    List of Figures viii

    Acknowledgements ix

    Introduction 1

    1 The Russian media landscape after 2013: an overview 10

    2 Discourses on ‘traditional sexuality’ in Russia: a historical perspective 37

    3 ‘War on terror’, Islamophobia, and media portrayals of non-heteronormative masculinities 51

    4 Mediation of non-heteronormative masculinities in the context of the global anti-harassment #MeToo movement 101

    5 Transgressive masculine performance on Russian TV 152

    Conclusion 176

    Index 185


    Olga Andreevskikh is a Senior Lecturer in Russian Language and Culture at Tampere University, Finland.

    ‘This compelling book offers the first substantive analysis of Russian media discourses on non-heteronormative masculinities. Rejecting simplistic accounts of state-imposed homophobia, it identifies multiple intersecting discourses wherein representations shift according to context, genre, and news event, breaking vital new ground in gender and sexuality research and in Russian communication studies’.

    Stephen Hutchings, University of Manchester

    ‘The book celebrates Russian queer communities in their fight for recognition and visibility. Based on extensive research and multi-modal analysis of Russian language media, the book showcases how discourse around queerness is formed. By tracing media flows, exchanges and representations, the author writes a history of queer subjectivities in twenty-first century. A must read for everyone working on contemporary Russian Federation and queer cultures, the book makes a significant theoretical contribution to a wide range of disciplines including cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and media studies’.

    Vlad Strukov, University of Leeds